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How Scientists Shot Down Cancer’s ‘Death Star’

After 40 years of effort, researchers have finally succeeded in switching off one of the most common cancer-causing genetic mutations in the human body. The finding promises to improve treatment for thousands of patients with lung and colorectal cancer, and may point the way to a new generation of drugs for cancers that resist treatment.

The finding has already led to a new medication, sotorasib, by the drugmaker Amgen. Other companies are close behind with their own versions.

Amgen tested its drug in patients with the most common type of lung cancer, called non-small cell cancer. The disease is diagnosed in 228,000 Americans a year, and for most patients in the advanced stages, there is no cure.

The new drug attacks a cancer-causing mutation, known as KRAS G12C, that occurs in 13 percent of these patients, almost all of whom are current or former smokers. Sotorasib made the cancers shrink significantly in patients with the mutation, Amgen reported last week at the World Conference on Lung Cancer.

Read more at The New York Times

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